and her focus is on the past year. Oh what a year 2010 has been, filled with joy and so much life as well as rocky times as well. So many are struggling with huge issues such as health, finances, disappointment~well the list could go on and on. We do need to stop and take note and give thanks in all things!
For me, I am thankful that hubby and I had a wonderful vacation in Hawaii in March, a fun camping trip during the summer, a trip in the fall to celebrate my brother's birthday and countless other fun activities.
Today I am thankful for the first significant snowfall we've had this year; I'm thankful for this winter being dryer than the past which has helped my beloved to enjoy being outside more. I am thankful that he is enjoying senior sports and working at our local golf course. I am thankful for each day and each breath!
I am thankful for the many friends that the Lord has blessed me with and the fellowship I enjoyed at the ladies study this fall. I am thankful for God's grace that covers us and provides for us.
I am so very thankful for my beloved hubby, the man he is and the husband & dad he is-it amazes me that I am so lucky to be his wife. I am so very thankful for my family, for our daughters & their families, for my brother and his incredible wife~you will never know how much they all mean to me.
I am thankful for the gift of art-in different areas-quilting, photography(though hubby is so much better than I), and of course writing; who would have thought this thing called blogging could inspire and draw out the depth of my feelings.
I so look forward to 2011 and all that is yet unknown to me. I am holding to the word HOPE and JOY for the coming year.
Thank you for joining me on this journey and for sharing life with me!
Happy Wednesday dear ones~I hope this finds you and yours well as there are some nasty cold bugs going around here which I am trying to avoid. How has your week been? When do you take your decorations down? I've been toying with the idea of starting today but think I will wait until Friday or Saturday.
Yesterday hubby and I went to the movies and saw a new release called "The Tourist" with Johnny Depp and Angelina Jolie, filmed in Italy and I have to tell you that it was a good flick. It was not only a movie guys would like but I found it intriguing and it was pretty clean although a bit suggestive. So if you are looking for something to do on Friday or Saturday you may want to check this out.
We used to spend New Year's Eve with our dear friends and neighbors in California but since we've been here we always have a quiet evening and are in bed before midnight. Sometimes we get together with our girls families to play games but with several having colds I don't think we'll get together.
Today may you experience a profound blessing from above.
Greetings friends, On Sunday hubby and I took a drive to the mountains and it was the most incredible day. We were hoping to see some wildlife but didn't but we did see the beauty of God's creation-the mountains, blue skies and lots of snow up high.
We loved the way the wind was whipping the snow around-it looked very misty.
I'm not sure I'd want to live up in Estes because of the crowds and the large amounts of snow but I tell you
it is my favorite place to go to be refreshed. We bought our annual pass to the park and come spring I plan on the two of us spending more time up there hiking.
Good Morning Dear Friends, I hope you had a blessed and joyous Christmas! Ours was so much fun and many memories were made. We began with presents, as you can see the kiddos loved them. We then had lunch but this year was so much more relaxed than other years; I think it will be repeated for many years to come. I had two Christmas games for the adults/families and this was fun too.
After lunch the girls, all adorned in ballet wear, followed a video on the basics of ballet. It was so precious to see them participating, all except the babies and the two year old.
While the girls did ballet, the boys all got into Nerf wars. It was a fun activity that even the men enjoyed and it gave the boys some of their own fun.
A high vantage point, all the better the hit the target from. After this, two families went home for rest time and later we met up back at Kim's for dessert and games. The younger kids watched Sound Of Music and the adults and boys played games. What a delightful day and evening! I think the kids would agree that this was the best Christmas ever.
We didn't have a white Christmas this year because our weather was absolutely fabulous!
How was your Christmas? What made it special? Did you have nice weather or were you among the many throughout the states that were kept inside.
Hugs to you today. Noreen
Our youngest daughter, Kim, turns 29 on Christmas Day and I want to wish her a Very Happy Birthday.
Kim was due mid-January but decided she wanted to share Christmas with us and I call her my Christmas miracle. I was scheduled to have a c-section on the 30th of the month(still early)but after 29 hours of labor I gave birth to this most precious daughter. The nurses wanted to know what her name was and we weren't sure as we thought she was going to be a boy, we are so thankful she wasn't. Hubby and I were also concerned that our oldest, Carrie, would really miss Christmas day but at 2 yrs old it wasn't an issue. I have been so blessed with two incredible daughters, who are my best friends after hubby. Kim is a wonderful mother to four adorable daughters and a great helpmate to her hubby. She has always been a bundle of energy and loves life, although with four little ones 5 and under, her energy has tapered off a bit. It has been a joy to watch her grow into the godly woman she is today and both her dad and I look forward to watching you grow with your girls, for you are a Proverbs 31 woman.
With much love and appreciation for the blessing of you!
Greetings friends, Well almost all of our gifts are wrapped for family and friends; this year I am not baking because I am gluten free~it just wouldn't be right to have all these cookies around the house that I can't eat.
The next few days will be relaxed with visiting some friends and enjoying the blessings of the season. Usually our family caravans to see Christmas lights but I'm not sure whether we will this year or not. I am so very pleased that we are having dry weather here and that alone puts my sweet hubby in a very good frame of mind. For Christmas we will all be at our youngest daughters home for the day; no fancy sit down formal dinner but cold cuts, salads, munchies and desserts-this will be so easy for all of us. There are several games that will be available to play and we will just relish our time together.
Do you have a formal Christmas meal and if so, what is it? We used to have turkey and all the trimmings but I think this year will be wonderful. Does your family have puzzles or games that they play throughout the day? Since we've moved here we've gotten into jigsaw puzzles and will probably start one after Christmas; it helps to break up the long days of winter, though this year we might not need one.
Are you enjoying this week or do you find yourself running around like crazy?
Wherever you are today, I'm sending big warm Christmas hugs your way.
Blessings to you and yours, Noreen
Last night our church held their annual Christmas program with all our grands singing for us. Aren't they just adorable!
So many of them look alike that friends sometimes have a hard time telling which child goes with which family. I'm just glad they are all ours.
The whole group of children singing "Happy Birthday Jesus". Notice our little one, left bottom corner in green dress, she swayed for the entire song.
Here are three of four of our youngest daughter's girls. Shown-left to right-Miss S, age 5, back sitting our Peanut now 3 and standing in green dress again our little Miss D.
The joy they bring to our hearts reminds me of the joy we bring to the Father's heart when we worship and praise Him.
Stop and thank Him today for all your blessings.
Holiday hugs to you, Noreen
Last evening while our boys went to an Eagles game, the girls got together for a "girlie" evening. Oh what fun; pajamas, crowns, special desserts, play time and of course a movie. Here one of our youngest is proudly wearing her Princess crown.
Although Little Women wasn't as big a hit as Little House On The Prairie, the girls did love the dresses and the scenery. We didn't make it through the movie, maybe in a few years. But our new tradition started and it will be such fun in the years to come.
Blessings on your weekend my friends. Noreen
Happy Friday Friends, When you think of the Christmas season what impacts your senses the most?
For me, music has always had been an important part of my life, from early childhood on. My dad loved to sing and had a wonderful voice. I think all three of us kids also loved to sing, though some were better than others and some of us(namely me)always thought I sounded better than I did. One memory from my childhood is that when records-33rmp-came out my dad would play Bing Crosby's White Christmas album the entire month of Dec. I can still remember it playing throughout our home; one year our daughter gave me a cassette tape of the songs but the technology hadn't improved yet and the quality wasn't good. As our daughters were growing up I always played Amy Grant's Christmas album and of course the children's music such as GT and The Halo Express. I love carols as well and have several instrumental c.d.'s that play in the evening.
What sums up Christmas for you?
Have a wonderful day and weekend dear ones.
Wednesday greetings to you! How is your week going? Ours is flying by but next week promises to be totally relaxed with nothing left to do. Monday I saw my girlfriend and met her sister who lives here in Colorado. I had hoped to stay the night but we were having friends for dinner last night and I had so much to do that I choose to come home. As it was, yesterday was spent running to several grocery stores and getting our dinner preparations done. We had such a nice time with our friends and the meal was perfect. Today we have a commitment this afternoon but other than that we have a relaxed day. Tomorrow I have another girls party-an ornament exchange at a friends house.
Our friends last night asked about our family traditions when our daughter's were growing up so I thought I'd share a few more. Each Christmas eve our family would go out looking at holiday lights and then come home and watch a holiday movie such as Little House On The Prairie or another wonderful movie, then when the girls would go up to get ready for bed I always had laid out new holiday pajamas for both girls. We never put out presents until after the girls went to bed so that when they went down in the morning it was a wonderful surprise.
The countdown is on dear friends so stop and enjoy the festivities!
Hugs and blessings, Noreen
Good Morning To You, I hope you had a wonderful weekend filled with all sorts of Christmas preparations and traditions. I went to a ladies fellowship yesterday with my good friend and it was such fun; a dinner and guest speaker whose topic was Hats and Their History. I love girl times, be it with our daughters and their girls or with friends. As a young mother I was blessed with lots of other woman with young ones; in my case my own mother was deceased so I didn't have her to guide me along, but I had the absolute best sister and sister of my heart as well as good friends. I'm not really sure how it came about but when my girls were about 9 and 7, we decided to have a yearly "girls" Christmas date in San Francisco. The first several years, we dressed up in our finest dresses, went to a very nice restaurant for lunch and then attended the Nutcracker Ballet at the Opera House. Oh my, the ladies in real fur coats and little girls in their finest-what a sight to behold. It was a very expensive day but my sil and my sister split the cost with me so it was affordable. We did this for a few years and then decided to go see A Christmas Carol or Little Women and one year we even went to the Dickens Fair. My daughters have such fond memories of these days. We also bought each gal a special Christmas pin to wear throughout the season, just to remember our occasion. Somewhere along the years we ended up letting this slip by and when we spent time with our dear sil in Oct. she mentioned that we will need to start this up again because we have so many little girls. I see Denver in the future for such dates.
This Friday our men and boys are going to a hockey game so all of the girls will gather at our oldest daughter's house, have a fancy dessert and watch Little Women on their big screen. I can't wait; for me this is what the holidays are about!
Hugs to you, Noreen
Happy Saturday friends, One of the things I love about blogging, at this time of year, is hearing what family traditions other friends had. Growing up we didn't have many and when I had my own children I decided that I wanted to incorporate lots of fun experiences that our girls would always remember. There were many but today I just want to share two. Each year we would treck to an area that had Christmas tree farms and cut our own tree. When we lived in San Jose, Ca. we always went to the same tree farm in the Santa Cruz mountains. It was so much fun, trompsing through the rows and rows of trees to find the perfect one. I must confess that I am very picking when it comes to Christmas trees. The farms generally had hot chocolate and cookies and our girls grew up thinking this was the norm. After we got our tree home, depending on the day, hubby would put it up for us and the girls and I would decorate. Each year I always purchased a special ornament for them and a few for me. This way by the time they were married and had a home of their own they would have a fairly good collection. When I gave them all their ornaments I didn't want to be left with none, which is why I always got a couple for myself. I can say that both girls still have each of their ornaments and as we look at them, it brings back fond memories. The year we moved to Sonoma County in Ca. we didn't think it was practical to drive three hours one way to get to the tree farm we always went to. Our oldest daughter is very much a traditionalist(in a wonderful way)and she was so devastated that we weren't going to Santa Cruz to get a tree. Nothing was making her happy, not the promises of a farm just as nice or lunch afterward; it simply would not be the same. We found a tree farm close to the coast that was run my a family and the grandpa met us in the driveway to welcome us. They had all their family working and even a special child with Downs was helping-which touched our hearts. Slowly the disappointment began to fade as we walked around this lovely farm with well shaped trees and no poison oak. When we found our perfect tree and went to pay for it, the family told us about an apple farm that had crafts and food. In fact, the apple farm was owned by a family that attended the same church as we did. We headed their next and got some apple bread, bought some crafts and enjoyed the holiday atmosphere.
Our daughter decided this would now work for us. These are a few of the things that made our holidays brighter each year and both our daughters carry on the traditions now. We have a fake tree, which I said I'd never own, but I do love it-it's so easy to put up and we don't have to constantly worry about the needles on the floor or watering it. Never thought I'd say that!
If you don't have Christmas traditions, start some today. If your kids are grown, start some with your grands.
Have a fun-filled weekend. Noreen
Happy Friday Friends, I wanted to share our Christmas sled and rocking horse with you. My darling hubby and girls got me the sled many years ago and it is filled with wonderful Christmas bears and sometimes even a grand child for photo op's. The grands love all the decorations in our family room because they are meant to be played with.
Our weekend is pretty relaxed, on Sunday I am going to a Christmas tea at my friends church but other than that I think we will be at home. All the shopping is done, presents mailed, cards sent as well so we can just focus on spending time with family and friends. I hope you have a weekend filled with wonder and joy.
Greetings dear friends, I'm posting my Thankful Thursday early as tomorrow I have several other commitments and not sure I'll be on the computer. I want to thank two very special ladies for the generous hearts; Elaine at http://www.peaceforthejourney.com/ sent me Chris Tomlin's c.d. of Christmas Worship Songs. I love worship songs and this arrived today and I'm already listening to it. Thank you Elaine. If you haven't met Elaine yet, she is an incredible testimony of living faith, please visit her.
My dear friend, Beth Herring at http://www.aninstrument4hisglory.blogspot.com/, sent me David Platt's book; I've heard incredible things about it and can't wait to sit and read. If you don't know Beth, please take a minute to visit her-you won't be sorry. In the midst of this busy season and different trials in our lives, both these ladies take time to minister to me and to others. They are encouragers and share the heart of God to all who read their writing. Thank you Beth!
I just wish I was near both of you so I could run over and give you big hugs.
Blessings today, Noreen
When our daughters were in jr high school we became friends with another family who happened to be Dutch. They celebrated Christmas at the beginning of December, this focus was on St. Nicholas Day and then for Christmas they focused on the real reason for the season. One year, the first for us, they left gifts on our doorstep and rang the doorbell and then took off. It was quite fun trying to find them and discovering the thoughtful and yummy gifts they left. That year we wanted to bring some fun and joy to them so on Christmas eve we trucked out to their house in the country, after having parked some distance away so they wouldn't know we were there. We slowly crept up to their front door, left their Christmas presents, rang the bell and took off. We always found lots of wonderful hiding spots in which to watch them search for us-gullies, bushes, trees etc etc. On the street they lived it was always pitch black out so hiding was pretty easy. I think this ritual became so much fun for us and watching our friends walk up so close to us and not see us brought giggles etc. Our families continued this tradition for at least 6 years and it always made the holidays fun! Our daughters delighted that mom and dad would actually hide in bushes in the cold dark night to bless our friends. Over the years we have done this to other families as well and it is always fun to hear how they are so puzzled by who would leave gifts anonymously. I look forward to the stories the grands might tell of their adventures in leaving gifts for others on Christmas Eve, as I'm sure this tradition will continue. There are more family traditions that I'll share in the days to come.
What traditions does your family have?
Greetings to you. I thought I'd show you a few more of my special decorations. I've had this bunny forever and I still love it.
I made a throw with this cute couple on it and that year our dear friends gave us this figurine for Christmas. Loving snowmen as I do, this quickly became a featured decoration.
Love my snowmen on our antique school desk.
I should really get a photo of our sled before this adorable little grand daughter decided it was the perfect place to sit. Not really, her nana put her in there and she wasn't too sure what to make of the whole idea. Isn't she just such a cutie; makes me want to cuddle up with her again. By far, my grands are always my favorites!
Have a delightful day my friends.
Christmas Blessings to you today. Noreen
Greetings Friends, Did you have a wonderful, wintry weekend decking out your home? I'm home today but lots to do~laundry, Christmas cards and running errands with my girl and her girls. SIL is out of the country for work which means we will be spending lots of time together, more than usual. Spending time with my girls and grands is one of my favorite things to do! This day I am so very thankful for my Savior's love and the Spirit's presence in my life. I am thankful that He has ordained this day in my life for His purpose and will, if I'll but listen with my heart. I am thankful for this creative outlet of writing and blogging and sharing life here with you. I am thankful for those friendships that are of substance and not just surface and for those friends who I connected with immediately and for friends that it has taken a bit more time to develop bonds with. I am thankful that I am being shaped into His image and for the hope I have in Him.
I am thankful for you today!
Warm winter hugs, Noreen
Greetings Friends, Friday found me down the road, as I mentioned, picking up my close friend Cyndi and joining my blogging friends Pam and Marlene. We had a wonderful lunch and fellowship. Cyndi is a very easy going gal and my two friends here made her feel so welcome. Our time went much too quickly but hopefully we may be getting together once more before Cyndi heads home to California.
Pam, aka Smiling Grammy, is seated next to me and standing behind me is Marlene of Barefoot Soul and Cyndi is behind Pam.
The rest of my time with Cyndi was relaxing and fun as always but flew by too quickly. I headed home because our dear friends daughter, a gymnastics coach in Vail, was spending the day and night with us before heading to a meet today. This afternoon we are having supper with some neighbors and watching football. I don't know about your upcoming week but I can tell you that mine is jam-packed with wonderful activities. I've got two weeks left with Cyndi and I know they'll be done before you know it so I hope to get down for a day this week and then two days next week. I imagine she'll be ready for some quiet time at home by the time her brother is back. I hope you are having a wonderful Sunday filled with lots of worship.
Hugs and blessings. Noreen
Greetings dear ones, Today will be a rich and full day as I'm heading down to spend a couple of days with my girlfriend and the many,many dogs as well as meeting two of my closest blog buddies for lunch. We usually try to get together every couple of months but it has been since the end of the summer since we were together. I think I'll have to work on that for the coming year.
I decided to share a couple more collections with you. This Manger scene I bought about 30 yrs ago & love it.
Below is my Lizzie High collection that my SIL(sister of my heart),Sue, gave us about 20 years ago. I love the simplicity of it.
May you have a joyous weekend filled with the true reason for the season.
Happy December to you all. Our home is completely decorated and today I wanted to share a bit of it with you. Most of the decorations are 30+ years old and my collections have changed throughout the years. If you click on the above photo, you will see a darling Needlework & Quilt store that my dear friend and old neighbor, Barbara, gave me one year. We actually toyed with the idea of opening our own quilt store but that never materialized. This is my friend that taught me so much with quilting and gently invited me to grow; whenever this village is up I am reminded of her friendship and just how precious she is.
This year hubby set up my village; he did such a nice job and I was so thankful when I got home and didn't need to work on this. Our grands will be over tonight and I can't wait to see the expressions on the youngest ones faces. I've had this village for almost twenty years and I never tire of it.
My island is the perfect place for these two special figures.
We have very high ceilings in our kitchen and it is always a challenge to find items that don't get dwarfed by their height; this is the perfect place for my collection of snowmen.
I hope that the season is bringing you joy as you prepare for Christmas. There are so many that are hurting and you never know just how much a smile will mean to someone.
Hugs to you each today, Noreen
I am a daughter of the King, saved by grace for 38 yrs. I am married to my best friend and beloved for 39 years. I was born and lived most of my life in Northern Calif. until moving to Colorado. We homeschooled our girls for years and I love encouraging my daughters and others in their homeschooling. Hubby and I are blessed to have two incredible daughters and sons-in-law and 11 grandkids. I love spending time with my family & our dog Hunter, friends, plus quilting whenever I can.